Coconut water is an ideal option for athletes looking to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes naturally. It is an excellent source of electrolytes, providing calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus, all of which can help reduce muscle cramps. You may already know that bananas are a good source of potassium, but they also provide magnesium and calcium - three of the four nutrients you need to relieve muscle cramps. It's no surprise that bananas are a popular and quick option for relieving cramps.
Legumes, such as beans and lentils, are full of magnesium. A cup of cooked lentils contains approximately 71 milligrams of magnesium, and a cup of cooked black beans has almost twice as much, at 120 milligrams. In addition, they are high in fiber, and studies show that high-fiber foods can help alleviate menstrual cramps, as well as control blood sugar and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of magnesium.
For example, 1 ounce of roasted sunflower seeds contains approximately 37 milligrams of magnesium, and 1 ounce of roasted and salted almonds has twice as much. Many types of nuts and seeds also contain calcium and magnesium. A high score on the Alternative Healthy Eating Index reduces the risk of many diseases. It has been suggested that drinking 2 to 3 ounces of tonic water before bed can prevent leg cramps at night.
Tonic water and the quinine it contains have been promoted for decades to prevent leg cramps, despite a lack of evidence that they are effective. Quinine is approved by the FDA only to treat malaria and is sold with a warning against its use to treat leg cramps or muscle pain, as it increases the risk of bleeding and heart rhythm disturbances. Tonic water contains no more than 83 mg of quinine per liter, a concentration much lower than 500 to 1000 mg of the therapeutic dose of quinine tablets. Drinking a few ounces of tonic water shouldn't be harmful, but it's not likely to prevent leg cramps.
Once a cramp starts, getting out of bed and standing on the affected leg can abort it. Using ice or heat and gently massaging the affected muscle may provide some relief. New research from Edith Cowan University (ECU) has revealed that drinking electrolytes instead of plain water can help prevent muscle cramps. Nosaka and the research team electrically stimulated leg muscles to induce muscle cramps, and the frequency of stimulation was used as an indicator of susceptibility to muscle cramps.
The results showed that drinking water during exercise in hot conditions increased the susceptibility to muscle cramps after exercise while drinking an electrolyte drink decreased the susceptibility to muscle cramps and could be effective in preventing EAMC. Because many muscle cramps are linked to electrolyte imbalance, foods high in electrolytes, such as potassium, may be helpful in stopping them before they start. But why do muscles contract and are there ways to get ahead? We dive into what causes muscles to contract and how to prevent muscle cramps through food. Some researchers believe that muscle cramps come from neurological origins and include muscle overload and fatigue.